"All or Nothing at All."

That's the title of the O-Town song playing right now on my Songza playlist - "A 90s School Dance." I have no words for how much I love the 90s stations on Songza. Unbelievable. So far it's included Daydream/Mariah Carey, Spice Girls, and Aqua.

John is in Portland giving a paper. Meanwhile, I'm in that limbo stage where I've submitted my proposal but haven't defended it yet, so I basically have nothing to do. This is the first time I've had this much time on my hands since Christmas and I've been a little unsure about what to do with myself (except, oh yeah, all those things on my to-do list that I've put off for months).

So speaking of the 90s, tonight I watched Sleepless in Seattle on Netflix. I used a screenshot to gather further evidence that my friend James looks like Bill Pullman (yes, he's is in that movie). The resemblance is strongest in Independence Day, but I feel like he and Bill look a lot alike here, too - if only James's hair was a shade lighter.

See what I mean? 

John and I have also made a few more recipes from Appetite from Reduction, such as: 

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Toasted Cumin Seeds:

This was good, but a few avocado slices would make it great. To be fair, I think it's me, not the salad. I don't really like quinoa - there, I said it. You can take away my yuppy card now.

This Eggplant-Chickpea Curry, on the other hand lacked nothing. It was really easy and so good. The eggplant really does break down into a velvety kind of sauce for the chickpeas.

Tonight I made this Mushroom and Cannellini Paprikas. It's basically mushrooms and white beans cooked in broth and red wine. It wasn't as amazing as I hoped, and it's totally my fault for leaving out the fresh thyme. I'm anxious to try it again as directed because it was easy and so good. I ate it over pearl barley, as recommended....and then I ate some more barely on its own, right out of the pot. Home alone for the weekend! 

Last week we made tacos out of the Coriander Mushrooms and Tomatoes, from the section of the book on veggies/sides. The author recommends them as a taco filling, and they were perfect in that context, especially with a little cilantro on top. And yes, we added cheese (take my veg card away, too, while you're at it). They'd be great on their own without cheese!

Complete non-sequiter....
A few weeks ago I had my first macaron. Holy crap! Why did I ever wait?! They are amazing!

This made me really want to make them, but I need to acquire a candy thermometer first. Maybe after the wedding. They seem kind of complicated, but once you have the knack of them, it seems like the possibilities are endless!

And in completely unrelated, running news...
This time of year, the weather alternates between fabulous and crap. Here are some pics I took after the crap weather days from last week:

I'm completely soaking wet in both of those pictures because I had to run in the rain a few times. Other days, it's been in the 50s and sunny - pretty much the best running weather ever. 
I'm running in the Forest City 10k next week, and I realized that I will have run this race (or race series, 5K or 10K) more than any other race ever - four consecutive years. At this point, I have a race plan, and I also have a back up plan. 
Goal #1: New PR. I'll have the fancy new gps watch to help me keep track of how I'm doing during the race. I'll write out splits ahead of time. I know the course well; I know not to go out too fast (easily done since the first 2K are downhill) and to save something for the hill on Talbot St. in the last 2k. I can visualize it easily.
Goal #2 Run a strong race without being sick.
I may have to ditch goal #1 the day of, we'll see. This training cycle has been more sporadic than normal because I've going out of town twice, and then gotten sick right after each trip. On the other hand, I've lifted weights and worked on speed more consistently than ever before. 
Really, I just need to stay flexible mentally since the weather is all over the place this time of year. It could be 70 degrees and sunny, or it could snow. That's what happened this week, anyways - 72 on Thursday, snow today. I know I can handle either of those, if I have a good attitude. John, Ian, and Matthew are running the 5k an hour prior to my race, so I will get to watch and cheer for them and get into the race spirit. 

What about you? Any upcoming races or new recipes? 
Enjoy the last few days of April!

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